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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Some More Happy News About The Artic

The latest Arctic Report Card from NOAA

Monday, October 25, 2010

No Mops Please

Next time you are taking one of the Washington State ferries, be sure to throw the head of your mop in the trash and not in the toilet.



It’s a good thing they have this sign, because the mop I carry around with me all the time probably would have ended up in the toilet if not for this warning sign.



Ads in the Cart

Even in the shopping cart at the store they are trying to sell me something. Is it just me or are these ads everywhere getting a little excessive.

But then again, chili dogs do taste good.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Washington States District 21 Representative

And for my final cranky recommendations this election season, it will be for Washington States District 21 representatives.

Part of these recommendations are partially based on interactions I had with these people last year. You can read the posts under My Washington Representatives part 1 and part 2. In those posts I had an issues that I e-mailed my representatives about. Out of the three one called me back, the other sent me a generic e-mailed response, and the third did nothing.

First up Marko Liias vs. Elizabeth Scott
Out of the three I e-mailed on that issues, Marko was the one who called me back. I was impressed that he would take the time to listen to me on the issue, and that he was actually following up. I found the conversation very cordial and he came across as a pretty decent person. So in this category it’s an easy one… Vote for Marko Liias

Next up – Mary Helen Roberts vs. Ed Borey
Mary was the one who sent me the generic e-mailed response. And I can feel pretty confident in saying it probably wasn’t her that sent it, but an assistant.

Ed is a republican, who I am usually against, but he is for charter schools which I support, and he wasn’t a member of our state congress when they decided to ignore the voters and raise taxes even though the voters have stated multiple times that we want voter approval to raise taxes. Ed appears to be a Republican who believes in global warming. And, in looking over his website I don’t see any endorsements by the tea-party. So in this case… Vote for Ed Borey. It’s the year of change, so lets make some in our state this year.

And finally – Paull Shin vs. David Preston
There are tons on reasons I don’t like Paull Shin. The first being that out of the three I e-mailed last year, he didn’t even bother with the generic e-mailed response. The second reason is, he is a Democrat which means he should be for the environment. But Paull Shin has mailed me more crap that any other person in office. Which could be why he didn’t contact me back, he was too busy reviewing that month’s brochure. Throughout the year he sends out tons of flyers. Which means, he’s killing tons of trees to do it. And now, driving around the area there are tons of yard signs all over the place. On this one… Vote for David Preston. I don’t know what he stands for, he’s just not Paull Shin.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Walmart Hotties and Studs

And for a quick break from the politics, some Walmart comedy. Courtesy of People of Wallmart. No commentary needed:


























Check out there site for more, it's well worth a visit.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Washington State Initiative and Resolutions for 2010

The Cranky Monkey advises on how you should vote. Because I know what I’m talking about.

Initiative 1053:
"Initiative 1053 would require a two-thirds majority to pass any tax increase in the state legislature."

Vote Yes

I know we have already voted on this many times and already approved it in Washington. But as residents know, the state legislator ignored this law, so now let’s do it again. Maybe one of these days they will actually start listening to the voters… okay, probably not, but it’s not like it will hurt anything to have it passed.

Initiative 1082:
"This measure would permit certification of private insurers as industrial insurance insurers, and authorize employers to purchase state-mandated industrial insurance coverage through an 'industrial insurance insurer' beginning July 1, 2012."

Vote No

Why am I saying vote no? Because I know absolutely nothing about this issue, that’s why.

Initiative 1098:
"This measure would tax “adjusted gross income” above $200,000 (individuals) and $400,000 (joint-filers), reduce state property tax levies, reduce certain business and occupation taxes, and direct any increased revenues to education and health"

Vote Yes

At first I was kind of against this initiative. I would prefer this initiative if it adjusted for inflation each year. Also, we are already in the top 5 highest taxed states in the country and have a f***ed up regressive tax system as it is, and I don’t think this really helps. But all my conservative, only voting republican, friends are against it, as if they are in any danger of making over $200,000 anytime soon. So, since they are against it that makes me for it. Plus as a homeowner I like the reduction in property taxes.

Initiative 1100:
"This measure would close state liquor stores; authorize sale, distribution, and importation of spirits by private parties; and repeal certain requirements that govern the business operations of beer and wine distributers and producers"

Vote Yes

Do I really need to go into the thousand and one ways this is awesome!?! I didn’t think so. If you have ever drunk alcohol or ever will, you should support this initiative, even if you don’t vote yes anyway.

Initiative 1105:
"This measure would close all state liquor stores and license private parties to sell or distribute spirits. It would revise laws concerning regulation, taxation and government revenues from distribution and sale of spirits."

Vote however the hell you want on this one

Does this initiative sound familiar? Yeah, it’s basically the same as 1100 that’s why I don’t give a crap how you vote on it, as long as you vote yes on 1100

Initiative 1107:
"This measure would end sales tax on candy; end temporary sales tax on some bottled water; end temporary excise taxes on carbonated beverages; and reduce tax rates for certain food processors."

Vote No

I’ve been seeing a lot of signs in people’s yards in favor of this one. Most of those signs I’m sure paid for by the industries taxed by this. But the thing is we’ve had this tax in place for months now. It’s a tax on soda, candy, and bottled water. Yes, there are flaws in the way items are considered candy, but that doesn’t mean the law should be repelled, and the $130 million per year it generates does go to the cash strapped government.

Remember this is already in place yet Coke and Pepsi haven’t gone out of business. Tubby McGee is still buying his six pack of soda, Cindy the Candy muncher is still buying her sticks of High Fructose Corn Syrup/Corn Sugar, and Perry the plastic bottle boy is still drinking from his bottled water instead of his faucet.

Referendum 52:
"This bill would authorize bonds to finance construction and repair projects increasing energy efficiency in public schools and higher education buildings, and continue the sales tax on bottled water otherwise expiring in 2013."

Vote Yes – as long as you also vote no on 1107, since the tax revenue from that funds this one.
Think of the place you send your planet over populating children. You want them to be warm in the winters and cool in the summers don’t you? Then vote yes, but only if you vote no on 1107

Resolution 8225
"This constitutional amendment would change the way the state calculates its total debt interest (moving to "net" interest rather than "full" interest as the basis for the calculation)."

Vote Yes
Just read this description in the Seattle PI about this resolution as to why you should vote yes.

Resolution 4220
"Amending the state Constitution so that the provision relating to bailable crimes by sufficient sureties is modified"

Vote No

I know, most every is for this because this amendment allows judges to hold people who are charged with crimes potentially punishable by life in prison without bail until trial. But there are two problems I have with this.

The first problem is the more people we are holding in jail the increase in cost to the public to house and feed those people.

Second, this is for people charged with a crime, not guilty of that crime. In a way this is leaning toward guilty until proven innocent. If a person is charged then held in jail, they will lose their jobs, homes, and might not even be able to afford a lawyer because they can’t work. But, what if they are innocent? In a way, the system just created a criminal, because what are they going to do when they get out? Turn to a life of crime because it’s the only option? Maybe.




Friday, October 15, 2010

James Watkins vs. Jay Inslee for Washington State Representative

So I’m driving home from work on a Friday afternoon. The interstate of full of traffic as usual, and as I get closer to an overpass it gets even more backed up. When I get to the overpass I see why everyone is slowing down, because a small group of douche-bags are holding signs for James Watkins and waving flags. The next overpass… the same thing.

So, who should you vote for? Vote for Jay Inslee because James Watkins supporters cause traffic jams.

Blog Action Day - Water

It is blog action day today and the theme this year is water. It could be on clean water, water resources, or water projects of some kind. For my contributing post to this year’s theme, I’ve decide not to write, but to use images to tell a story from travels around the world.





































Petitions by Change.orgStart a Petition »











Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New York Governor Race - Carl Paladino vs. Andrew Cuomo

Most of the recommendations this elections season will be about issue/politicians s local to us here at Monkey Central, the Pacific Northwest. But in this case I’m going to make an exception. The race for governor of New York is between Republican Carl Paladino and Democrat Andrew Cuomo.



Paladino, has made statements like, “young children shouldn't be exposed to homosexuality.” Obviously thinking the gay will rub off on them, just like the straight rubs off on little gay children. He has also received the endorsement of the tea party.




Coumo however is not endorsed by the tea baggers, nor has he made Bigotry statements about homosexuality.



I think this is an obvious decision for New York voters… vote Andrew Cuomo.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Reichert vs. DelBene

In the first of this election seasons Cranky Monkey voter recommendations, it’s Rep. Dave Reichert (Republican) versus Suzan DelBene (Democrat).

It is the season of change, or at least that’s what various political factions are trying to tell us. Reichert has been Washington’s eight congressional district representative since 2005 and is a member of the “party of no.” According to the Washington Post Reichert has voted “with a majority of his Republican colleagues 86.3% of the time during the current Congress.”

Suzan DelBene is running on the same platform as everyone else, getting people back to work, moving away from oil dependency and into clean energy, etc. etc. So what makes her different from Reichert? Who knows, but she couldn’t be any worse.

So, the Cranky Monkey recommends Suzan DelBene for Washington’s eight congressional district. Not because of her stances on issues over his, but because Dave Reichert is avoiding debates with Suzan DelBene. One of the backbones of our democracy is the debate between the two candidates. This is where the voters get to learn more about each candidate, and potentially make a decision on who to vote for. The stranger and Seattle PI have posted recently on Reichert claiming to be too busy for a debate. Since he has missed 50 votes this current congressional session, and follows the party line 83% of the remainder of the time, I’m not really too sure what he is too busy doing.

We will have to wait and see if any of the news stories on this change his mind. But the damage is done, the monkey has made up his mind on this particular race.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Reuse and Create Jobs

I haven't had a chance to look into the source of the data in this chart, but it makes an interesting point. We think we are being enviromentally friendly by recycling, but when it comes down to it, reusing something has a much better impact on the planet. And according to this chart, it also creates more jobs.



check out http://reuseconex.org for more information.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Department of Stupidity, Hopelessness and Sadism (DSHS)

It is blazingly obvious that no one is supposed to have food stamps. The government never intended for this program to actually feed anyone. It is simply there so that the bleeding hearts can sleep soundly at night and so that people like me can rip their eyes out of their sockets in a tizzy of frustration.

I began my quest for food about a month ago, knowing that the .4 teaching contract I have would not be quite enough. It is barely enough to survive. I can just eek out every bill, now that I’ve put my student loans into forbearance and reduced my calling plan to the absolute minimum possible. After every bill is paid, I am left with about $100 a month. That’s $100 for gas, food, and other necessary consumables like toilet paper. I could stop wiping my butt, but then they’d fire me from the meager job I’ve got, so that’s not the best choice.

Instead of having a smelly ass, I thought, “Hey! I’ve paid into the system for over ten years as a working individual, perhaps the system can help me out in return during these hard times by assisting me with the purchase of foodstuffs.” With this novel idea in mind, I went about trying to apply for food benefits.
Like all good services, I easily found the website to apply for food benefits online. I would call them food stamps, but that’s apparently old school and not PC, so I have to say food benefits instead. Don’t you feel better? I know I do.

After applying online, I was told that the Department of Social and Health Services would be in contact with me soon about my application and the status of my benefits. Doesnt’ that seem nice? The “status of my benefits” part makes me instantly think, “Word! I’ve got some benefits!” Wrong!

I got a letter in the mail about two weeks later. The letter said the following:
“We have received your application.
Your application is being processed.
We selected these statements from a drop down list and, really, the computer is the one communicating with you, not us.
Someone will contact you between the following dates: September 2010 and September 2987.
Please be available by phone during the hours of: 8 AM to 5 PM every fucking day you are alive.
We will call you at the following number.
If we do not, please call this 800 number and wait on hold for hours for no reason, just so we can fuck with you.”
It was such a delight to know that my needs were being carefully considered somewhere by a real person and that, soon, I would be able to talk with someone regarding any questions I might have about the program or how to access my benefits. Phew! Good to know the government I had no faith in could come through in a time of need!

Because I am a dumbass who insists on actually going to work for the few hours I am able to be employed and because I do what I am supposed to do at work, teach children how to think and do things, I missed the call from the DSHS office. They left me a very nice message which told me to call the 800 number and asked me kindly to fuck off.

I called the number the first time and waited on hold for 30 minutes. I decided that they were probably having a busy day and that I should call back another day. I called back the next day a little earlier in the day, thinking I’d be one of the few people who weren’t busy at 10:30 on a weekday, and I waited on hold for literally an hour. As previously, I hung up. Fed up, I called a friend who had food benefits and asked her what I was supposed to do. She said that, sometimes, if she called exactly at 8 AM when they opened, she might only have to wait on hold for half an hour.

What the fuck?

So, I decided I’d just call back again at 10:30, the earliest possible time I can call on a weekday. I decided also to have something else to do while I waited so that I could wait as long as it took and not give up. I don’t even want to tell you how long I was on hold that time. And, seriously, WHY? Why the crap would you have an 800 number that no one could actually use? Where were the people who were supposed to be answering the phones? Better yet, if you don’t have enough worker bees, why don’t you hire me to buzz around so that I won’t even need your ass-tastic food benefits? Douchebags.

I was done waiting on the phone. I decided that I would find the nearest office and that I would go and talk to someone in person. This decision cost me some innocence and olfactory receptors and panned out not at all. Why had I even expected it to?

Showing up to the crowded, confusingly organized office, I checked in at the touch screen. I then waited amongst screaming children, swearing crack addicts, and various other nefarious citizens, trying to eat my lunch in peace for at least another hour. After finally being called back to the interview cubbies, I was asked, and I’m not exaggerating, the exact same questions I had been asked on the online application in the same exact order.

Was this a joke?

NO! Of course not! What else would be the point of the interview, they explained, if not to confirm that the information you entered was correct? But, wasn’t that what my BRAIN was for? No matter, at least I had got the interview done. So, what assistance could I expect, finally, at the end of this twisted and foggy path? $16 a month.

Oh good, I can buy two pizzas. That should do it.

Turns out I make $100 too much per month to get the $250 a month benefit. How do you jump from $250 in benefit to $16? What sadistic crap face makes this shit up? Then they informed me that, if I made even $50 more a month in any given month, my benefits would be canceled and I would have to re-apply if and when I dropped back down into a serviceable income bracket.

Did I mention I am living below the official, federal poverty limit? How can I not qualify for food assistance when I am living in poverty?

Most importantly though, and this is the real zinger folks, this is the part that really makes me want to explode in bits and pieces at the sight of the touch screen I logged in at, most importantly, they could’ve just told me I didn’t qualify at the point when I initially filled out the application online. What would have been so hard about saying, “Based on the values you’ve entered in the above fields, we will likely give you some feces in a paper bag instead of food.”?

I can’t imagine what this would’ve been like if I were illiterate, blind, deaf, a speaker of another language, or if I had any sort of mental disability or handicap, no phone, or no car and, even better, no internet with which to fill out a pointless application for a pointless program.
Way to go USA! Woooohoooo! Glad to be here, teaching our young for future generations to thrive in freedom, glory, and health or, well, at least the glory part. Hope I don’t die of starvation next month!



Friday, October 01, 2010

Clean?

I think they were recently cleaned. Disregarding the rust and age all over the place, the floors were wet and I’m assuming wet with water.



Good thing I was the only person in need of a sink


Yahoo Sends its Own E-Mails to SPAM

Besides the people who actually work for Yahoo, I’m probably one of about 20 people in this country who actually have a yahoo e-mail account. And I’m starting to see more and more why people have switched to gmail. Something I should do, except for I don’t want to go through the hassle of switching all my logins and have people start e-mailing me at the new address.

Anyway, besides occasionally not being able to access my yahoo account, the spam filter has got to be the worst feature of Yahoo e-mail. For example; I will occasionally add something to my Yahoo calendar, then it gives me an option of sending a reminder. One of the ways it can send me the reminder is through e-mail. Which is handy, I check my e-mail regularly and I can tell it how far in advance I want that reminder sent.

The catch to using this function is, my spam filter thinks the e-mail reminders are spam. Yep, my e-mails from the yahoo calendar reminder come in as spam to my yahoo e-mail account… Great product Yahoo, no wonder you are losing most everything to Google and Microsoft.